Childhood Memories

As a little girl, I remember being mesmerized by a tall, green Chinese lacquer secretary that stood in the entryway of my grandfather’s apartment. Tucked inside its handpainted drawers were tiny treasures–letters, keys, stamps and coins from foreign countries–that had belonged to my grandmother, Mae; my great-grandmother, A’Lelia; and my great-great-grandmother, Madam C. J. Walker.

The Chinese secretary that A'Lelia Bundles inherited from A'Lelia Walker and Madam Walker

In 2003, in an exhibit about Harlem curated by Michael Henry Adams, the Museum of the City of New York featured the secretary and several items from my Madam Walker Family Archives. Peter Heller’s beautifully written New York Times article captured the moment.


About A'Lelia Bundles

A'Lelia Bundles is an author, journalist, public speaker and president of the Madam Walker/A'Lelia Walker Family Archives. Her book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, was a NY Times Notable Book. For more information visit
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